the machine

Here the session from yesterday with Lara… the unstable weather forced me to find something indoor and so I asked the people from an old coal mine in eastern Belgium if we could take a few pictures inside… I have been shooting there before… a long time ago: when I started photography and had done maybe 2 or 3 shoots I signed up for a model-shoot-event: a number of photographers and an equal amount of amateur models meet and then everybody shoots with everybody – more or less… and this event took place in this mine. Back then it was a completely deserted place… absolutely empty and you could go everywhere.. now its an event center with a cinema, restaurant, underground parking and all…. I was a bit worried if it would be still any good for shooting…but they managed to find a nice balance between modernizing and keeping the old industrial heritage alive…. I attach one picture of the session back then taken at exactly the same place I used now… don’t laugh!

I used the Nikon F4 with Tri-X developed in Rodinal – which gives a nice gritty look that serves this industrial theme quite well. On top of that I had the Aero Ektar with me and took a few shots – you will see the difference: “smooth and creamy”  vs “gritty and rough” … on some of the 4×5 negs I had a problem with the development tank… you will see… more inside the gallery.

Many thanks to Lara … she simply took some dresses of her mother – without any special make-up or other styling – and pulled off a great performance!



  1. 28. August 2011 / 14:50

    best images of lara i’ve seen yet.
    pulled out a great set.


  2. Der Peter
    28. August 2011 / 15:45

    inspired by Peter Lindbergh?

    • 28. August 2011 / 16:59

      Lindbergh’s pictures are a major Inspiration for me… together with Roversi, Avedon and a few others my favorite photographer….. …this session was not intended to be a specifically lindbergh-type of-theme… but the influence is quite obvious I guess…

  3. 28. August 2011 / 17:10

    Brilliant. ’30’ Is flawless. Lara is positively exquisite, and the silhouettes in bokeh look like an imposing pair guards, or worse.

    Really lovely.

  4. Marcel
    28. August 2011 / 17:41

    Hey ,

    ein Bild nur von “Anniek” – Batterie alle oder was 😀
    Hm viele Bilder sind schön – manche rauschen etwas .
    Aber Ausdruck und Bildgestaltung sind wieder prächtig gelungen .

    LG Marcel

    • Marcel
      28. August 2011 / 17:43

      Favorite Pictures 22 + 30

    • 28. August 2011 / 18:00

      Danke – digitale Bilder rauschen, Film hat Korn … 🙂

      • Marcel
        28. August 2011 / 19:07

        Oh – dann kann ich ja jetzt auch auftrumpfen bei denen die mir immer schreiben – dass es rauscht 😀
        Okay danke – habe was dazu gelernt …
        Habe ich kein Problem mit 😀
        Schöne weitere Shootings wünsche ich Dir .


  5. 28. August 2011 / 19:36

    S T U N N I N G! Way too many stunners to pick faves. You made really good use of the location and the light is something else. I love the long dress outfit. Thanks for including the 2006 shot. That’s true progress 🙂

  6. 28. August 2011 / 22:48

    Hi Jan,

    What a beautiful series. Always nice to see contrast between those heavy machines and the fragility of a human. All images are wonderful, and I choose some faves:

    2: Great bokeh. Love the soft sparkling space around Lara.

    18 and 19: Due to the light. I like the diagonal line of the sunlight and graphic shapes of the windows, which are beautiful in contrast with the elegant pose of Lara.

    25: It makes me think of a sort of Hollywood style

    31: Due to the bright light. It’s like an arrow who points at Lara.

    35: Definitely my fave. Can’t explain. Just a feeling. 😉 You made a lot of progress. Nice to see your early work.

    Well done again. The location is perfect. What a beautiful light and possibilities!


  7. Mike
    29. August 2011 / 01:26


  8. 29. August 2011 / 08:21

    Sehr schöne Serie!
    Hat spaß gemacht das durchzuklicken.

  9. 29. August 2011 / 13:50

    #1, 7, 18, 30 are some of my faves, but I like the entire shoot. I wish there was a way to bring in more of the rain into the shoot but it sounds like that would be tough with the quick changing conditions. The aero ektar has a mean depth of field, amazing.

  10. 29. August 2011 / 21:12

    I love how you make such outstanding images with such little fuss. Often one or maybe 2 outfits + interesting environment + loads of skill. The result is far better than many folks shooting with 5 outfits + MUA + $12k in strobes and 2 hours per image in Photoshop.

    Oh about that last image – LOL! Most of our local photographer’s images look similar and they get paid for it.

    It’s inspiring to see how far you’ve come!

  11. 30. August 2011 / 05:44

    Hello Jan-

    Great work as always. It is encouraging to see the vast difference between your photo from 5 years ago and now (such an enormous improvement!). I am curious whether you use any kind of artificial light on this or other shoots you’ve posted.

    Keep up the great work,

  12. 30. August 2011 / 05:49

    Great set and amazing model. Stunning and I love how she knows what to do with her arms and hands. How much direction do you give for the poses? Also, thanks for including the old photo. It inspires me to improve as well since it is amazing how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time.

  13. 30. August 2011 / 09:32

    I love #22. Wonderful pose, composition and DOF!

  14. 30. August 2011 / 22:35

    Sehr schöne Serie -> tolles Set. Wunderbar, wie sich das Model im “langen Dunklen” elegant in den Industrieräumen in Szene setzt.

  15. 31. August 2011 / 08:31

    Those are fantastic again. You could easily do what you do as a day job. This is big cinema, a Peter Lindberg wouldn‘t have done it better. You see I‘m enthusiastic 🙂

  16. 31. August 2011 / 16:36

    As always, excellent … Recently, a blog that I always look
    that for a 35 mm lens?

  17. 18. September 2011 / 21:32

    awesome serie … its great to see how much you grown over the last 4 years 😀

  18. Phil
    17. April 2013 / 23:26

    Moin Jan!
    I love the first picture! Great, that you had that last negative saved!
    I tried to imagine that you probably composed the framing and then waited for the “right” expression on her face?
    I wonder, how that great expression came by? Did you talk about something like “think of the pain of being left alone, and try to show it”, or was it rather like “show me something”, or just how does it work to get such a perfect emotion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *